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Environmental licence feed mill De Heus not approved

Published on 18 September, 2009, Last updated at 01:41 GMT
The Council of State on September 16 annulled a new environmental permit that the province Northern-Brabant had granted for the operation of the Ravenstein feed mill of De Heus in the Netherlands.
The licence was granted in 2007, but in examining the applications the Provincial Council in Nothern-Brabant had not applied the proper standards regarding noise and emissions of odour and dust, the State Council judged.

The City Council of nearby Oss and people living close to the feed mill had objected against the granting of the environmental licence by the Province.

The Provincial Executive in accordance with the objectors to the assessment of the odour incorrectly relied on an existing situation.

Because the annual licensed production of feed has been increased this is not correct.

The permit is granted for a maximum annual production of 325,000 tonnes of animal feed. Compared to an old Nuisance permit of 1986 this means an extension of the licensed annual production capacity by 185,000 tonnes.

Environmental improvements
De Heus had four existing chimneys for the evacuation of air from the pelleting press plant replaced by a new chimney and made adjustments in the ventilation system.

The Provincial Council however should have judged these improvements as a new situation and thus should had used current thresholds for acceptable nuisance.

Even in assessing the noise caused by trucks at night to and from the factory the Provincial Council failed in the eyes of the State Council.

Goes into the court in the objection that the Brabant college requires adequate audit requirement relating to the emission of dust from the plant of the facility as a condition of licensing is included.

The State Council also judged that the Provincial Council should had put in place a control measure for emissions of dust from the factory.

Maximum production set
De Heus will have to apply for a new environmental license now. Until that is granted the factory cannot produce more than 140,000 tonnes, which is the volume set in the old licence.

If this volume is exceeded the State Council can install a penalty of one million euros.

A spokesman for De Heus said he was disappointed about the outcome of the court case and said it was too early to pull conclusions from the judgement.

The city of Oss was pleased with the outcome and presses for relocation of the feed mill.

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